Larry Carr, Highland resident and established drama and creative writing professor at SUNY New Paltz, recently published a new work of literature entitled “Pancake Hollow Primer.”
Carr considers his latest effort to be a novel of healing. According to Carr, the book’s protagonist begins as a broken man on a spiritual journey who learns to heal himself physically, emotionally and psychologically.
The story takes place in the Hudson Valley where Iraqi war veteran, Frank Closky, returns from the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Closky becomes a drifter upon his return and is not able to settle down in one particular place.
The character’s sole possession is an old 1989 Toyota truck and he does not fit into society’s norm, as is the case for most of the soldiers who return home after serving overseas. Although accomplished, many come back with ailments and disorders due to their journey.
Closky, filled with psychological and physical scars from the war, inherits an old house filled with miscellaneous items, but remains unhappy. Carr explains that the protagonist does not actually want the house, but heals day by day on his new property. Through his learning experience, Closky blends back into society.
“Closky learns through living on the land, and working with the possessions and building walls and fences, he learns how to heal himself while also meeting some interesting people on the way,” Carr said.
The inspiration for the novel refers back to Carr’s personal experience of moving into his own home in Highland.
“Moving into my own house in Highland inspired me. My wife and I lived in an old farm house also,” Carr said. “I started writing about that experience and I started writing a memoir, but it soon shifted to a novel about Frank Closky.”
“Pancake Hollow Primer” is a Hudson Valley story and takes place within a 20-mile radius of the main character’s home. The novel mentions towns such as Highland, New Paltz, Clintondale, Rosendale and many other towns around Highland.
Writing this fictional work was not Carr’s first literary endeavor. His first piece of writing was compiled when he was just 16 years old.
“I woke up sweating, I thought I was sick, but I wasn’t sick. I just needed to write,” he said.
Carr has also penned “The Wytheport Tales,” “Vaudeville” and co-edited “WaterWrites: A Hudson River Anthology,” among other works.
Carr recently held a reading and signing of his new novel on Sept. 16 at Inquiring Minds Bookstore, located at 6 Church St. in New Paltz. Carr is also setting a date for another reading during the first week of December on campus.